Donald “Don” Emery William

Donald Emery William passed peacefully at the Sheridan County Health Complex on Friday, November 30, 2018 at the age of 90. Born on October 9, 1928 in rural Sheridan County as the fourth of five children to Lorenzo Lewis and Ada Rena (Selbe) William, he lived nearly his entire life in the community of Hoxie.

Before graduating high school Don worked numerous jobs, including Vic’s Grocery Store, where he learned the value of hard work and the importance of customer service.

Don married Helen Eileen Mowry on December 6, 1948, and they were blessed with four children.

An entrepreneur at heart and gifted with a personality that prevented him from ever meeting a stranger, Don joined his father as co-owner of William Tire Shop in 1948. In 1964, he purchased the remainder of the company and operated the business from the building he constructed at the SE corner of Royal and Main Streets until selling the business in 1982.

Along the way, Don owned and invested in numerous other small businesses including the bowling alley and Don’s Auto Sales. He also invested in feeding cattle for several years. While he was driven to provide a viable financial future for his family, a love of his community and desire to see Hoxie prosper also drove many of his investment decisions.

He was active on the city commission, with the Chamber of Commerce, the volunteer fire department and in the community’s economic development efforts. Perhaps a few of his most notable activities included being an original investor in the Hoxie Feeders, co-founder of the real estate company that developed the Wheatridge subdivision and being a founding principal of the Door Factory. Don served on the Board of Directors for First National Bank of Hoxie for approximately twenty years. He recognized the importance of a vibrant business environment and impact it had on the entire community’s small business owners. While not all of these activities produced favorable results, it certainly demonstrated the love he possessed for his community and garnered the respect of his peers.

Don made a point to know everyone on a first name basis and was frequently relied upon when a community historian was needed. Don’s grandchildren held a special place in his heart and afforded his smiles on a daily basis.

Don is survived by his wife, Helen of the home; a sister, Myrtle Prussner of Clifton, Illinois; children, Janice Brown (Dale) of Hoxie, Kansas, Jerry William (Lisa) of Cleveland, Ohio, Dan William (Mary) of Hoxie, Kansas, and Marisa Fleenor (Rick) of Mission Hills, Kansas; ten grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ranz and Ada William; sisters, Ina Taylor and Norma Ackerman; a brother, Ronald William; and a grandson, Timothy Brown.

The funeral service will be held at the Hoxie United Methodist Church, Hoxie, Kansas on Tuesday , December 4 ,2018 at 10:30 A.M. Don will be laid to rest at the Hoxie City Cemetery following the service. Memorials are suggested to the Sheridan County Amusement Company or Mickey Museum and may be sent in care of Mickey-Leopold Funeral Home, PO Box 987, Hoxie, Kansas 67740. Online condolences may be left at


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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